I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Fitness Friday: Organized Kitchen Edition

This was an easy post for me since I've had this kind of thing on the brain lately, so most of my work was done before Brenda gave the assignment. I decided to work on my kitchen and get the pantry and food cupboards organized.

It DOES make it SO much easier to do things in the kitchen when they're organized in a way that's easy to navigate. I'm also going to post today my meal planning ideas. This is easy for me, because then I have options, and I know what to put on the grocery list I take with me. It also helps with keeping to the budget, because I'm not mindlessly throwing things into the cart (trolley here in SA) at the store (shop here in SA).

So, here come the pictures of the food areas in the kitchen first. Since the work was already done last week, I don't have before photos. But they do look a lot better than they did. I promise.

This is the pantry. It's huge and awesome. And now, thanks to strategically placed baskets, everything is neat and tidy. (You will see that I am a basket enthusiast. Not for sitting out as decoration, but for corralling all the bits in the cupboards.) Things are grouped together by category. Lower shelves hold snacks the girls can grab on their own, and juices for the fridge since the girls are the ones who replace them in the fridge. (I don't drink juice.) Also cereals are on the low shelves for easy breakfasting. Pastas are grouped together, as are canned goods and baking things. (Which are in the two big blue Tupperware things.)

This is the spice/mixing bowl/cookbook/jell-o/pudding cupboard.
The baskets on the top shelf hold all my spices, and broth cubes. It was a big mess before because I never knew what was back in the back, and therefore replaced things I already had. And some things were stacked on top of each other, and would tumble down on me when I grabbed them. Now I just pull the basket down, use what I need, and pop it back in. MUCH better!

Below is my baking cupboard. The basket holds everything I use for decorating cakes and cookies. The rest of the cupboard holds some dry ingredients, vanilla, icing sugar. This is much better too, because with it being such a small cupboard, nothing is missed or unused.

Now onto the meal planning. This is my recipe box purchased for me by my Nana from Amish country in Ohio (where I was born and raised). I have all my recipes organized by category; chicken, beef, vegetarian, etc.
Why do I do this? Well, every month I sit with my laminated (so I can just wipe it off) calendar I've made on a spreadsheet, and I go through the categories, picking out a balanced amount of recipes from each. Then I plug them into the empty boxes, making sure we don't eat beef every day one week and none the next. Make sense?
When I'm done filling in recipes, I gather the ones I'll be using for the month and put them in the very front of my recipe box, in the order they'll be used. This makes them easy to grab, and I don't have to hunt for the one I need, it's just right there.
When I've used a recipe, it goes into the back of its category so I don't pull it out again too soon. That way I end up rotating the things I know we like, instead of just making the same stuff over and over.

I also keep a small ball of sticky-tack inside my cupboard so when I'm cooking I can stick the recipes at eye level. This helps me work efficiently, and keeps the cards neat and tidy. If I don't put them up, I always end up spilling something on them and staining them. Yuck.
So, these are the things I do to help stay organized in my kitchen and make healthy food for my family. It's also good for my mental health because I'm not stressing out with disorganization. (Which I really hate, right WendyMom?)

Hop on over to Fitness Friday and check out what everyone else is doing to stay fit and organized at home. Happy weekend!


  • WendyMom

    Oh man- I love it! You are SUCH a great organizer- always have been- always will be. I love the recipe box idea- I know you showed that before- but to see it in action is awesome. I love baskets too- as you know- and the one time cost to start with them is so worth it. To be less stressed is of the most importance- if things aren't organized and able to be used readily- who will cook? Not me. That's for sure- I can find almost any excuse not to cook- so I've had to eliminate as many of them as possible here too. You've inspired me to re do my spice cupboard now- thanks! Love you and have a great day.

  • Aunt Bossy

    Yes--STICKY TACK! Why didn't I think of that before...you are so my hero.

    And the kitchen looks AWESOME. I skipped this episode 'cause my kitchen is in prime organizational state since we just moved in. Actually, it tends to stay that way since I am 1.) anal and 2.) never had much room so I had to be organized or I wouldn't have any room for food and 3.) I'm anal. So my post would be no fun to read and I couldn't even jazz it up with pics since UB doesn't want me posting ANY pictures on the blog where just anyone can look at them and then tap into a satellite to triangulate our position based on the way the shadows fall on the wall then hunt us down and cause us bodily harm and/or steal our coveted hand-me-down furniture and Wal-Mart decor. Facebook is OK since I have to "friend" you first and is therefore more secure. Anyway...

    Keep up the good work, Jules! :-)

  • Terry @ Breathing Grace

    Oh gosh, Juliemom, you do have an organized kitchen!

    I'm jealous (in a good way). And inspired.

  • Cassandra

    Nice, I'll have to try the ROTATION system for my recipe cards and the filing of them by meat category. I just finished making my recipe box (see my blog)and will be adding many more cards, but this idea will just add the perfect touch to my box and hopefully will help me keep up witht he meal planning.

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